The Shadow Of The Gods by John Gwynne
|The Shadow Of The Gods by John Gwynne|
|Reviewer: Ruth Wilson|
|Summary: This is a magnificent Fantasy saga, full of battles and mystery, set in a world of Vikings and battle-fame, magic and gods. A world where the Gods lie in their graves and their children walk the earth. Our heroes are scattered through the land, each on their own path, working toward their own goal, but magic moves in mysterious ways and something is coming that will change the world.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 496||Date: October 2021|
|External links: Author's website|
The Shadow Of The Gods is the first installment of the Bloodsworn Saga, set in the era of the Vikings in the shadow of Ragnarok, when the Gods have battled and their bones lie scattered for all to see. This story is the ultimate in High Fantasy, and John Gwynne certainly does justice to the genre, with mythical creatures, archaic language and battles galore. This is a thick book, with an intricate plot and fascinating characters that are woven together to create a wonderfully realistic and gritty world in which our heroes must do battle.
The story is told through multiple viewpoints, and at first this makes the plot slow going. Some characters are quick favourites and some are less endearing, and it takes time for all these different characters to become established enough for the reader to really start to see hints of the greater plot starting to emerge. The genius with these little snippets of viewpoints, however, is that the reader sees some action, or a battle, or a vote and then…. End of chapter. Instead of being annoying, the plot has been carefully crafted so that the book is a constant series of mini cliff-hangers that all lead the reader to a series of revelations, one event leads to another, or one discovery is important as it has consequences for another, that reveal the greater plot of the book and gradually increase the suspense of the plot.
The attention to detail within the novel also sets this book apart as real quality, the detail in the armour worn for battle, the food eaten on the road, the description of the mythical creatures encountered and the beautiful language used all set this book apart as something different. This is not a modern book with men and women in armour, the characters use archaic terminology, different phrases, different colloquialisms, even different languages at times. The richness of the world that John Gwynne has created is really beautiful and certainly sits proudly alongside saga-like tales such as Beowulf which inspired it.
I would highly recommend reading The Shadow Of The Gods, The characters are unusual, brave and interesting, the plot is dynamic and the battles are well written and action packed. This book is everything a Fantasy book should be, I was absolutely hooked and it kept me guessing until the very end. I am most definitely going to read the second in the saga when it is released. It is a wonderful story set in a wonderful world. Alternatively, for something similar you could try Hall of Smoke by H M Long.
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